TURBOCHARGING THE PRICE OF THREE TURBOCHARGED LUXURY SEDANS
We often disparage the names of great luxury sedans because of their exorbitant prices. We’re so offended to realize that the quoted MSRP is of little consequence to a well-specced car with the options we demand. Yet the Accords and Camrys of the world are now as luxurious as premium cars of yesteryear and far more extravagant than the premium cars of our childhood. Multiple notches above the mainstream cars of today, a handful of European automakers compete with a couple American nameplates and a trio of Japanese manufacturers for hundreds of thousands of affluent midsize sedan buyers. These affluent midsize sedan buyers are willing to pay through the nose; but they receive plenty in return for their hard-earned dollar.
Take these three roomy, turbocharged, well-equipped sedans representing Germany, Sweden, and the USofA. For outright driving bliss, the Audi is the clear choice. If a clear view of the world and absolute serenity is your cup of tea, Volvo’s hit the nail on the proverbial head. Care for something in between? The Lincoln is quietly classy while at the same time a little audacious. Many would wonder why, in a price comparison of midsize luxury, so many players would be left sitting on the bench whilst inferior competitors are allowed to play.
Ah, but we’re exclusively turbocharged today. True, BMW and Saab can play that game, too. Germany and Sweden have already sent in their nominees, however. Now, in ascending order of price as well-optioned, here are today’s contestants for most expensive turbocharged midsize luxury sedan.
$54,281 – VOLVO S80 T6 AWD: Imagine what the price of the S80 would be if Volvo didn’t automatically incorporate a $6,250 “Volvo Allowance”. Okay, you don’t have to imagine – we can do the math together. A six-cylinder Volvo for $60,531 would be difficult to swallow. It’d also be the most expensive car of this trio. From a base price of $42,050 (not incorporating the “Volvo Allowance”), The Good Car Guy has added the three Cs of packages: Climate, Convenience, and Collision Avoidance. In addition, the Executive package, BLIS, and rear-seat DVD add a chunk of change. Standard equipment includes the 281-bhp 2.9L straight-six, a six-speed automatic, and some 4,500 pounds of girth. Adding the price of a Honda Civic to your Volvo S80 sounds foolhardy. Negotiating the saliva out of your Volvo sales rep on a $55K S80 sounds fun.
$55,440 – LINCOLN MKS ECOBOOST AWD: Comparing this 355-bhp MKS with the Town Car or even the old LS and Continental is almost embarrassing. It’s not fair, either. Lincoln has to take the fight to ensconced favourites, not just the Baker Street Irregulars. Starting at $47,760, major options like navigation, slick paint, and 20″ wheels have helped propel the MKS to the $55K price you see here. Call that an adjustable figure given the propensity North Americans have for choosing BMW and Benz when they could have a made-in-America solution. Why EcoBoost? In theory, turbocharging a smaller V6 rather than installing a large V8 should save on fuel, right? In practice, you’ll be lucky to save a single mpg.
$57,550 – AUDI A6 3.0T QUATTRO: Audi’s new 300-bhp turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 is a torque and tech monster. 310 lb-ft of the good stuff does a fair job of moving this large car around. Prestige trim is two notches above the basic 3.0T car. Options are thus very few. A 19″ wheel “sport package” and rear side airbags round things out. Without those options, this would be a $55,200 car. As a simple 3.0T Premium, Audi says the A6 costs $50,100. Significant additions to get to the $57,550 price of this car include adaptive Bi-Xenon headlights, Bose surround sound, and voice recogition for major controls. In cars with interiors as spectacular as these three provide, the interior luxury quotient is likely decided as much by subjectivity as by the options list. In the mind and eye of The Good Car Guy, it’d be hard to topple any Audi in any segment in terms of ambience.